This painting is quite small—only 12 inches by 12 inches. The size invites intimacy, I think. Central to the composition is a small kneeling figure hunched over, head touching the ground. Is it someone in distress or someone praying? Often those go together. The room would be quite murky and depressing were it not for the gold light streaming in from the window. Do you see the silhouette of a cross? Is that a thorny crown at the base of it, twisted from prickly brambles?
Just beyond the crouched figure we see scratch marks in the ground. Grouped in five, they remind us of a prisoner marking off time in a jail cell. I get the sense this painting is meant to convey a powerful image of waiting. Waiting for what? None of us are strangers to the stance of waiting. Waiting for the virus to go away, the chemo to work, the wayward child to come home, the loneliness to subside.
Yet, the title of this painting gives us hope—On Holy Ground. When, in our waiting, we are drawn closer to God, there exists the potential to transform the floors of prison cells into plots of holy ground. Sacredness is possible when we strip away the peripheral and remember the essential. The artist says that through her work, she seeks to explore themes that center around “the human condition surprised by the grace of God.”
Being Human connection: Whether in delight or despair, the ordinary becomes holy when we find ourselves in the presence of a God who is Immanuel (God with us).May you, in your waiting, find yourself on Holy Ground, surprised by grace, as you come into the presence of the Almighty.
“I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in his word do I hope.” Psalm 130:5
Featured art: Grace Carol Bomer, On Holy Ground—These Years of My Pilgrimage, 2018. gracecarolbomer.com